Clear and Deliver your USA imports!

Types of customs entries

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T&E Entry – Transportation and Export: Goods shipped under U.S. Customs bond from a U.S. Port of Entry to a second U.S. Customs port for export to a third country.

VST&E – Vessel Transportation and Export: This is a specialized U.S. Customs bond intended for a foreign vessel which will be immediately leaving the USA.

Warehouse Entry– This entry is for goods entering the USA under bond to temporarily store goods in a warehouse without paying duties and/or taxes.

Informal Entry– This type of entry is performed for shipments valued under $2,000 USD. (Some commodities are restricted to on an informal entry, regardless of the value.)

Consumption Entry– Designed for shipments entering the U.S.A. with a value over $2,000 USD.

TIB– Temporary Import Bond: Goods entering USA temporarily and intended for re-export to the originating county. Some restrictions do apply.

4455– Certificate of Registration: We also prepare this U.S. Customs document which is intended for foreign shipment exporting from the U.S.A. and then intended for return to the U.S.A.

IT Entries– Immediate Transit: Goods shipped under U.S. bond directly from initial Port of Entry into the USA to a second U.S. Customs port. Note: Restriction: The Car*rier must hold a Bond with U.S. Customs.

Remote Location Filing

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Remote Location Filing (RLF) is a pilot program that allows approved participants to electronically file entries with CBP from a location within the United States other than the port of arrival or location of examination. For example, merchandise is entered in Miami; a Seattle filer, via RLF, files the entry.

Customs container inspections

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Under Title 19, section 1467, of the United States Code (19 U.S.C. 1467), CBP has a right to examine any shipment imported into the United States and it is important to know that you, the importer, must bear the cost of such cargo exams. Cleared and delivered in no way can control or defer the costs of these inspections should they occur. Per the CBP regulations, it is the responsibility of the importer to make the goods available for examination—“The importer shall bear any expense involved in preparing the merchandise for CBP examination and in the closing of packages” (19 C.F.R. 151.6). ( 19 C.F.R. 151.6 ) Household effects are not exempt. No distinction is made between commercial and personal shipments. In the course of normal operations, CBP does not charge for cargo examinations. However, there may still be costs involved for the importer.

For example, if your shipment is selected for examination, it will generally be moved to a Centralized Examination Station (CES) for the CBP exam to take place. A CES is a privately operated facility, not in the charge of a CBP officer, at which merchandise is made available to CBP officers for physical examination. The CES facility will unload (devan) your shipment from its shipping container and will reload it after the exam. The CES will bill you for their services. There are also costs associated with moving the cargo to and from the exam site and with storage. Rates will vary across the country and a complete devanning may cost several hundred dollars.

Carnet items for import

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Commercial samples, professional equipment and advertising material can be imported into the United States by a nonresident. Other countries permit the use of a carnet to import the above materials and other categories of goods such as, ordinary goods like computers, tools, cameras and video equipment, industrial machinery, automobiles, gems and jewelry, and wearing apparel. Extraordinary items, for example, Van Gogh’s self-portrait, circus animals, jets, band instruments, satellites, human skulls, and the New York Philharmonic’s equipment.


Importing tea coffee or spices

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Imports of tea, coffee, and spices are subject to review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)and their admissibility is determined by the FDA. You may want to contact the FDA to obtain instructions on how to label the products (i.e., ingredients, nutrition, content etc.). FDA can be reached at 1-888-723-3366. or

All commercial imports of food products require the filing of Prior Notice with FDA, and foreign manufacturers and/or distributers of food products must register with the FDAbefore their goods may be admitted.

There are no restrictions or quotas on coffee, tea, and spices whether bottled, brewed or packaged, which means there is no limit to the amount you can import into the U.S. However, some products which contain these items may be subject to some restrictions or special duties (e.g. sauces, syrups, soups etc.). If you are importing any of those products, you may want to consult with an Import Specialist at your local port of entry.

Importing seafood

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The importation of seafood is governed by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service. The importation of marine mammals is also under the jurisdiction of the NMFS and FWS.

Tuna and anchovies are subject to Quota.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife restricts the quantity of caviar that can be brought into the U.S. by travelers to 250 grams. If the traveler has more than that quantity, the goods will be subject to seizure. There are also restrictions on commercial importations.

There is an embargo on shrimp, prawns and products from certain countries. The Department of State, Office of Marine Conservation has provided Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with a list of countries they certified as using acceptable methods of shrimp harvesting. Imports of shrimp from certified countries are admissible. Ask a cleared and delivered rep for the latest
status on seafood imports.

Import a motorcycle to the USA

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Before you decide to import a motorcycle into the United States, you should ensure it conforms to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. These agencies have very detailed requirements that can make importing a motorcycle difficult. EPA advises importers of motorcycles to obtain a letter from the manufacturer stating it conforms to U.S. standards. If it is imported into the U.S. and does not conform, it must be brought into compliance before it can clear Customs and Border Protection (CBP), be legally registered, used and or sold in the U.S. If it is not brought into compliance, it can not remain in the U.S. and it must be exported or destroyed. For example, if the motorcycle you intend to import is a Harley Davidson, many of those bikes were exported for sale in a foreign country and do not conform to U.S. standards. The EPA has a detailed automotive facts manual describing emission requirements. You can get a copy of this manual, entitled the Automotive Imports Facts Manual,(order #EPA420B94006) or other information about importing motor vehicles by calling the EPA import hotline at (734) 214-4100. From a CBP standpoint, you must file an entry and the EPA Form 3520-1 and the DOT form HS-7 must be submitted to CBP to receive the Entry Summary document CBP Form 7501. You will need this form to register the motorcycle in your state. Prior to filing your entry with CBP, ensure you have valid proof of ownership, which is an original certificate of title, or a certified copy of the original, and the bill of sale. You will be required to pay 1.5% to 2.9% duty, which will be assessed based on the purchase price or blue book value.

Quotas and Imported Goods

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Many kinds of goods imported for commercial use may be subject to a quota limit. It is the classification number of the article as identified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and the country of origin that determine whether or not an item is subject to quota requirements.

In some cases, the quota is absolute, meaning that once the quota is filled – because the quota has reached its limit for that particular period of time – no additional quantities of that item may be imported until the next open period. Such merchandise must be warehoused or exported. Other quotas are tariff-related, which means that a certain quantity of goods may enter at a low rate of duty, but once that threshold is reached – during a specified period of time – a higher duty rate will be assessed for any additional quantities of that particular imported good. Unlimited quantities of some merchandise subject to tariff-rate quota may, however, enter at over the quota rates.

If you are importing goods for commercial use or resale, it’s a good idea to contact your local port of entry for more specific information.

Fill levels for quotas are currently posted on the CBP Electronic Bulletin Board in the file called Quota Threshold Status. Fill levels for textile items can be found in the Quota section of Importing/Exporting.

The Quota program is generally applied only to commercial importations. While the importation of many goods imported under “personal use” quantities are not affected by quota restrictions, there is one exception; made-to-measure suits made in Hong Kong, which are restricted for both personal and commercial use.

Formal Import Entries

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If your goods are valued at more than $2000, or for commercial textile shipments (clothes/materials) regardless of value, you will be required to file a formal entry, which can require extensive paperwork and the filing of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection bond. As mentioned above and for various reasons, CBP may require a formal entry for any importation. CBP, however, rarely exercises this right unless there is a particular concern about the circumstances surrounding an importation.

Because filing a formal entry can be complicated, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection recommends importers consider hiring a customs broker to complete the transaction. Lists of brokers can be found on the port pages of CBP web site.

One of the most difficult things about filing formal entries is accurately identifying the correct classification number of the item being imported. The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) lists classification numbers for every conceivable item under the Sun. The HTSUS is the size of an unabridged dictionary, and specialists train for months to learn how to correctly classify goods.

The classification number of an item determines many requirements pertaining to that item’s importation such as it’s duty rate, eligibility for special import programs like the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) or the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and whether or not the item is subject to quota restrictions.

Failure to correctly classify an item can result in fines and/or delays in delivery. You may write to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for a binding ruling, and/or contact an import specialist at your local port for help to identify the proper classification number for your imported item.

Informal Import Entries

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If the value of your purchase(s) is less than $2000 and your goods are being shipped by mail or freight, they may, in most cases, be imported as an informal entry. However, there are exceptions to this. For instance, if the importation is determined to be for commercial purposes, the value limit for filing an informal entry for many textile items is either $250 or $0 – depending on whether or not the item is subject to Quota (see below). Clearing goods through CBP as an informal entry is less arduous a process than clearing them by filing a formal entry. Essentially, when goods are cleared as an informal entry, CBP will prepare the paperwork, including determining the classification number and duty rate for your merchandise.

The duty rate for many items typically bought in an on-line auction is zero, however, CBP may charge a small processing fee for mail imports that do require the payment of duty.

If your goods are sent by a courier or express service, their brokers will usually handle the paperwork, and bill you for their services.

If your goods are being shipped by freight, and you want to clear them through CBP yourself, be sure the shipping company has instructions to deliver them to a port near you. Otherwise, you will need to arrange for someone else to clear the goods for you when they arrive. Your alternative is to ask the seller to make arrangements to have your goods forwarded to your door, in which case you should expect to pay for the services of the customs broker who coordinates this when your goods arrive in the U.S.A.